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Council members question routine end-of-year budget amendments

Normally a routine “housekeeping” item, amending the 2019-2020 budget to reflect actual spending drew considerable discussion by the Crowley City Council.
The council began to question where funds to support numerous line items — such as an increase of $53,500 for attorney fees for the year — that were under-projected on the original budget would be balanced out.
Some members of the council had trouble accepting that those under-projected numbers would be balanced without help from the general fund, but Mayor Tim Monceaux explained that only the recently allocated $80,000 for the police body cameras would come out of that fund.
Alderman Vernon “Step Martin” asked Monceaux why a list of bills was not being provided to the council despite numerous request from numerous council members since the day they took office.
Monceaux explained he would not bring the bills into the council meeting and that if Martin wanted to see the bills he could go to city hall.
The motion to amend the budget was passed in a 5 to 4 vote with Aldermen Jeff Cavell, Brad Core, Clint Cradeur, Lyle Fogleman and Steven Premeaux voting in favor and Martin, Samuel Reggie, Kim Stingfellow and Byron Wilridge opposed.
Action items that were passed by the full council include:
• approval of Partial Payment Estimate No. 1 to Southern Constructors, Inc. ,for the City-Wide Drainage Improvements Project in the amount of $283,948.33.
• approval of Change Order No. 1 under Southern Constructors, Inc., contract for the City-Wide Drainage Improvements Project to extend the subsurface drainage system on Eastern Avenue between Eighth Street and Seventh Street in the estimated amount $44,249.30.
• adoption of a resolution authorizing the use of remaining LDEQ-CWSRF Loan Funds for the Installation of a Comminutor at the City of Crowley’s Main Sewerage Pump Station project. (The comminutor is a device that filters out solids by cutting and grinding up those solids. The machine functions similar to a garbage disposal but on a larger scale. Currently, the City of Crowley does not have a working comminutor.)
• approval of the recommendation of the Crowley Planning Commission for a conditional use permit to be issued for a hair salon business operated by Jackie Broussard at 571 Mims Drive.
• introduction of a resolution to repeal, in its entirety, Ordinance No. 1483, also known as the Special Gateway Overlay Districts Ordinance.
The council discussed the idea of repealing the Gateway Overlay Districts Ordinance completely but decided to amend the ordinance. The public hearing to entertain abolishing the prohibited uses laid out in the Gateway Overlay Districts Ordinance will be held on Aug. 12.
• approval of new 2020 Beer and Liquor Licenses for Gamal Al Thabti at Cajun Mart and Winners Circle.
• authorizing condemnation of property belonging to Jason Montz at 318 W. Ninth St. (The council will have a public hearing on Aug. 12)
• adoption of a resolution introducing a proposed ordinance and calling for a public hearing to provide for locked trash containers.
Stringfellow requested that the motion read “to secure” trash containers not “to lock” trash containers. The public hearing on this matter will be held on Aug. 12.
• co-sponsorship of a Food Truck Competition, on Saturday July 25, in the parking lot of the Enterprise Center to be held in conjunction with the Farmers Market held by OneCrowley, a local non-profit.
It was also discussed that in order to protect the city, OneCrowley will be acquiring insurance for these types of events the group has been hosting. In the past, the group did not have an insurance policy leaving all liability on the City of Crowley.

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